In the 1990’s, companies begin to experiment with outsourcing work that wasn’t considered business critical, usually as a cost-saving measure. The results were quite mixed. Sometimes outsourcing backfired, and ended up costing a company even more money. Regardless, this was the beginning of rethinking how business was organized. Leaders began to conceive of workplaces as more fluid; they began deconstructing hierarchies and experimenting with new ways of structuring and organizing work.
At the same time, technology such as mobile phones and email began disrupting the protocols that drove established business operations. The internet connected the world, allowing not just major companies, but also entrepreneurs and workers to contract with one another across national lines. The era of disruption had begun.
On June 29th, 2007, the first iPhone was released, changing absolutely everything. Many have speculated that the smartphone might have spread faster than any other technology in human history, although this might be a bit early to call.
One thing is for sure. Now nearly everyone has a pocket-sized computer, if not two or more. Today one in ten Americans accesses the internet exclusively on mobile. The cloud + the smartphone is eating tablets, PC’s, desk phones and even the office.
It’s not just people but ideas that are mobile.
In the time it takes to commute to an office, an idea can travel across the world and change a market. A new application or feature can make an entire industry irrelevant overnight. Even when a company climbs to the top, it’s impossible to rest. The next game changing innovation is already in the works.
Consequently, the smartphone has become the ideal UC platform for people on the go, allowing instant access to news across the world, colleagues near and far, and an impressive suite of inexpensive digital tools that can flatten the playing field for new entrants and lean companies. It’s the universal remote for business, allowing you to run your company from anywhere, anytime. However, digital transformation brings business new challenges, particularly how to best motivate and connect with customers and talent.
Mobility, Automation and Remote Work
More and more employees and workers are opting to work remotely. The rise of the freelance workforce is creating a flexible on-demand talent market that can be deployed with a minimum of effort, while CEO’s and entrepreneurs can stay in touch with their teams without being tethered to a desk. The next major outsourcing event will involve automation rather than labor. And yet, as desks, offices, and administrative departments are replaced by the cloud and the mobile workforce, how can a company create a strong brand that has relevance and credibility? A slight change in focus can help you focus on the things that can drive your business forward as digital transformation creates new opportunities and workplace practices.
- Customer experience before product—A great product is no longer enough to stay relevant. There will always be competitors and copycats, but what no one can take away is the experience you create for your customers. Your product or service may change substantially, but the experience your brand delivers must remain consistent, memorable and distinctive.
- Culture before location—Culture is the new location, that undefinable ‘it’ that makes both customers and talent want to be a part of what you are doing. In a mobile world, culture matters more than ever, replacing the tangible of place with the tangible of identity. Who you are is the key question. Your values and beliefs shouldn’t be just about you, but at that sweet spot where you and the market meet.
- Agile before quality control—Mass markets drove standardization which drove quality management, but segmentation has prioritized speed, intelligence and flexibility over the rigid thinking, strict controls and process audits that characterized quality management.
- Mobile before global/local—Global or local isn’t a question anymore, as mobility transcends both modalities. Mobility allows businesses the flexibility of being both global and local at once.
- Software before hardware—A shift from CapEx to OpEx not only will can help you save money and significantly reduce your risk, but will also allow you to more easily adopt emerging tech and stay current.
Does your office phone system empower mobility?
The next generation of office phone systems are mobile-first and built to ride on top of voice over IP (VoIP), HD voice and LTE networks. Applications like Spoke Phone can turn a single business phone line into a full featured office phone system designed for use on mobile phones. Port your existing business phone line or choose a DDI number for a completely virtual phone system. Multi-city geo routing, a shared call log, and easy mobile-to-mobile call transfer are some of the features we’ve built in to help you stay connected on the go.
To learn more about Spoke, including how our AI is powering the next generation voice UX, sign up for an interactive demo and see how to transform your business.